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You are your child’s first teacher and your home is where your child begins to learn.

It’s never too early or too late to help your child develop language and other early literacy skills. Here are five daily practices to follow to get children ready to read:

Talking

Children learn language and other early literacy skills by listening to their parents and others talk. As children hear spoken language, they learn new words and what they mean. They learn about the world around them and important general knowledge. This will help children understand the meaning of what they read.

  • Make sure your child has lots of opportunities to talk with you, not just listen to you talk.
  • Respond to what your child says and extend the conversation. “Yes we did see a truck like that last week. It’s called a bulldozer.”
  • Stretch your child’s vocabulary. Repeat what your child says and use new words. “You want a banana? That’s a very healthy choice.”
  • If English isn’t your first language, speak to your child in the language you know best. This allows you to explain things more fluently so your child will learn more

Singing

Songs are a wonderful way to learn about language. Singing also slows down language so children can hear the different sounds that make up words. This helps when children begin to read printed language.

  • Sing the alphabet song to learn about letters.
  • Sing nursery rhymes so children hear the different sounds in words
  • Clap along to the rhythms in songs so children hear the syllables in words.

Reading

Reading together - shared reading - is the single most important way to help children get ready to read. Reading together increases vocabulary and general knowledge. It helps children learn how print looks and how books work. Shared reading also helps children develop an interest in reading. Children who enjoy being read to are more likely to want to learn to read themselves.

  • Read every day.
  • Make shared reading interactive. Before you begin a book, look at the cover and predict what the book is about. Have your child turn the book’s pages. Ask questions as you read and listen to what your child says. When you finish the book, ask your child to retell the story.
  • Use books to help teach new words. Books can teach less common words, words that children may not hear in everyday conversation.

Writing

Reading and writing go together. Both represent spoken language and communicate information. Children can learn pre-reading skills through writing activities.

  • Writing begins with scribbles and other marks. Encourage this by providing many opportunities to draw and write.
  • Children can sign their name to drawings, which helps them understand that print represents words. As they practice eye-hand coordination and develop their hand muscles, children can begin to write the letters in their names.
  • Talk to your children about what they draw and write captions or stories together. This helps make a connection between spoken and printed language.

Playing

Children learn a lot about language through play. Play helps children think symbolically, so they understand that spoken and written words can stand for real objects and experiences. Play also helps children express themselves and put thoughts into words.

  • Give your child plenty of playtime. Some of the best kinds of play are unstructured, when children can use their imaginations and create stories about what they’re doing.
  • Encourage dramatic play. When children make up stories using puppets or stuffed animals, they develop important narrative skills. This helps children understand that stories and books have a beginning, middle and end.
  • Pretend to read a book. Have your child tell you a story based on the pictures in a book. Or ask your child to “read” a book you’ve read together many times and tell you the story. This develops vocabulary and other language skills.

Look for future blogs with fun things to do that incorporate these activities for you and your child.

As you gather together this holiday season, why not set aside time to talk with close relatives about diseases and conditions that run in the family? Having a record of your family’s health history can be a valuable tool in helping to lower their risk for disease.

To help you get started, here are tips on approaching your relatives and questions to ask about their health histories.

Use these print and online tools to help you collect and organize this valuable information.

Also, take this short quiz to learn why it’s important to know your family’s health history.

The information on Creating a Family Health History was provided by NIHSeniorHealth and developed by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI).

Portland is home to a vibrant community of gardeners, some of whom wanted to make it easier to barter or swap home-grown goods with a broader range of neighbors. Try these services if you like to share.

Portland Food Exchange: Anyone can go to this site and offer up foods for bartering. Your free listing includes up to four photos, and PFE has plans to partner with local food banks so that unclaimed trades can help feed hungry folks in our community. 

PDX Food Swap: A sister chapter to other swapper communities around the country, PDX Swappers meet seasonally to share, exchange, and celebrate handcrafted foods in Portland, Or. You can find other cities' swaps by searching at Food Swap Network.com.

Chowswap: A site for people who make, grow, or raise their own food. Ever can 40 quarts of tomatoes and wonder what you're going to do with them? What if you could trade a couple jars for some fresh backyard eggs? Or some homemade pasta, or some apricot jam?

Food Buying Clubs: If you're trying to save money and cut down on packaging by buying in bulk, you may benefit from joining a food buying club like Know Thy Food which can connect you directly to local food producers and wholesale distributors. They can help you obtain high quality, fresh foods at fair prices, and they also accept SNAP payments.

Simply stuffing face at the 600+ food carts in P-town is enough for me, but not so for many of you. No, some of you actually want to run one of these things!

If you’re ready to become one of the peas in a cart pod, first you’ll need to do some research about permits, licenses, business plans, outfitting a cart and the like.

Here is a handy list of links and books to get you started....

Start-up Support:

How to Open a Food Cart in Portland
Advice and Experience from a Food Cart Owner
Food Cartology Report - Trends and Impacts

Permits and Permissions:

Mobile Food Unit Operation Guide (Oregon DHS)
Mobile Food Unit Licensing and Inspection  (MultCo Health Dept.)
Vending Carts on Private Property (Portland Bureau of Development)
Vending Cart Types and Permits (Portland Bureau of Development) 

Buying the Cart:

Northwest Mobile Kitchens
CateringTruck.com
Used Vending.com
Festivals and Shows Equipment Sellers

Buying Supplies:

Rose's Equipment
Cash & Carry

Keeping your pet safe and healthy is an important responsibility for every pet owner.  Check out the following websites for information about pet health and recreation!

A comprehensive pet health resource that includes information about specific conditions, nutrition, first aid, medications, food safety, and more. Also contains journal articles and information about veterinary clinical trials.
 
Up-to-date pet care information from ASPCA experts in behavior, nutrition, poison control, veterinary medicine and the human-animal bond. Includes access to pet behavior advice and an Animal Poison control hotline.
 
The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) accredits animal hospitals throughout the U.S. and Canada. AAHA-accredited hospitals voluntarily choose to be evaluated on over 800 standards. The site contains an AAHA-accredited animal hospital locator, articles about dogs, cats and exotic pets, information about pet diseases, and more.
 
DoveLewis, located in Portland, Oregon, is the only non-profit animal hospital in the nation devoted to emergency and critical care 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. DoveLewis also offers an Animal Assisted Therapy & Education program, pet loss support, and pet health & first aid workshops.
 
Established in 1868, OHS is the largest and oldest humane society in the Pacific Northwest. It is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization funded by voluntary contributions. The OHS web site provides information about pets available for adoption, training classes and resources, how to report animal abuse, spay and neuter assistance, and humane education.
 
A comprehensive online guide to all of the wonderful doggy resources the Portland area has to offer. From doggy daycares to dog washes to descriptions of every dog park in the region, you can find it on this web site. It also includes information on local dog-friendly lodging and housing, a business directory, and links to local animal rescue and welfare organizations.

There are many organizations and groups in the Portland Metro area that offer free or low-cost health services for all ages.  

211info: information and referral Oregon and Southwest Washington's comprehensive support hub for referrals to food, shelter, housing, foreclosure assistance, health care, and much more.  Calls are confidential, anonymous and free.  Telephone interpreters are available for help in more than 150 languages.

Cascade Aids Project works to prevent HIV infections, support and empower people affected and infected by HIV/AIDS, and eliminate HIV/AIDS-related stigma.  They offer a hotline for counseling and referral,  HIV testing, educational programs and speakers, as well as Pivot, a space "dedicated to the physical, personal, and social health of gay/bi/trans and all men into men".

Coalition of Community Health Clinics
If you are low-income or uninsured and need medical assistance, this website offers health information and contact information for clinics, flu shots, prescription assistance, and other free or low cost medical services in the tri-county area.

Multnomah County Aging and Disability Services
A resource for seniors and people with disabilities, this site offers a 24-hour helpline with information and referral for housing needs, home health care needs, meals and more. 

Multnomah County Health Department
Multnomah County provides low-cost family health care to underserved, low-income and uninsured residents of Multnomah County at seven different locations

Oregon Helps
This screening tool and resource helps you determine eligibility for thirty-three different assistance programs, including the Oregon Prescription Drug Program and the Medical Assistance for Children, Adults and Families program.  The site can be viewed in Spanish, Vietnamese and Russian.

Oregon Safenet
A partner organization of 211 Info, Safenet can help you find free or low-cost health care and other important services in your community.

Returning Veterans Project This local resource offers free counseling and other health services for returning veterans and their families.  You can search a database of local providers to find someone for your specific needs. 

I must have a thing for books that have books within them, as two of my most favorite novels have such. Let me amend that...the books within happen to be parables...perhaps that is the icing on the cake for me.

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler could also fall under my favorite book variety of 'Tough
Girls You'll Love'. Lauren Olamina lives in a not-too-distant future where violence rules, people must guard their walled enclaves, and harvest their own foods, eating things like acorn flour bread. Lauren also has a dream, a purpose for humanity, which she chronicles in her parable, Earthseed: Books of the Living. It is our destiny, she tells us, to seed the stars. As she feeds us this vision, this foundation for a new faith, I found myself wishing for her new religion to become reality. She's rather insightful for her young age. Perhaps this has something to do with her hyper-empathy, through which she feels acutely the pain of others. Read or listen to it...both versions are great.

I loved Lovers and Beloveds by Meilin Miranda so much I went to the library's Suggest a Purchase page and asked the library to get some copies, and the collections mavens did so. (Yay! ...and let me say, this is something any of you can do.)

A young prince comes of age after a sheltered childhood. He must find his own way, irrespective of the pressures of his father the King, his mother the Queen, or even his notions of duty. His new training comes from his immortal Teacher, who activates a magic book called An Intimate History of the Greater Kingdom, stories of the queens and kings of his country's past. Through this book, Prince Temmin experiences everything the characters do, and he must consider theirs and his mistakes, as well as feel the very erotic elements contained therein. Meanwhile, he is seriously considering becoming a follower of the gods of love and desire called the Lovers, and his father the King will do almost anything short of heresy to stop him.

This book contains explicit sex scenes, but they are not gratuitous; they are essential to the story, and far from boilerplate. Without the scenes, this novel would be among the best of the fantasy books I've read, but with them, it becomes a rather unique, outstanding book. It makes you think about how sweet and natural sex is in this world MeiLyn Miranda has created, and how difficult it can be to find that unstained attitude in the real world. MeiLyn's wisdom of experience regarding the human psyche shines through every chapter.

Are you the parent of a baby or toddler or even a soon-to-be preschooler who is struggling with potty training? I was in that position not long ago. My son, who turned 4 recently, just finally got the hang of it. We struggled with getting him to use the toilet in the evenings after work and on the weekends. It was difficult to convince him to disrupt his playtime when his body told him he should. We read lots of potty and toilet training books to him, we sang songs and researched. Ultimately, it only worked when he was ready to take on the task himself. In any case, if you are a parent in this position, you may find this list of books and materials helpful. The library’s Storytime It’s In the Bag was especially useful, it includes several books for the kiddo as well as parent materials. Be sure to praise your child and yourselves for the hard work of potty training!

Quarter notes and bank notes : Book cover: Quarter Notes and Bank Notesthe economics of music composition in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries / F.M. Scherer.
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2004.
Central      331.7617 S326q 2004

"Written by a leading economist with an unusually broad knowledge of music, this fascinating account is directed toward individuals intrigued by the world of classical composers as well as those interested in economic history or the role of money in art." - excerpt from the book description

The central question of this book is "the extent to which composers divided their professional lives between the patronage and freelance alternatives." The balance between these two types of economies are described with many interesting stories about the struggles of composers dealing with music publishers, copyright violations, performance rights, travel, plus supply and demand factors. A fascinating book for comparisons to the present time.

Fashion : the definitive history of costume and style / [produced in association with the Smithsonian ; Smithsonian consultant, Susan Brown].

Book cover:  Fashion The Definitive History of Costume and Stylepage from Fashion: A Definitive History

New York, N.Y. : DK Publishing, c2012.
1st American ed.
Central and Neighborhood Libraries     391.009 F248 2012

A stunning new book we just received, entirely in pictorial format with timelines, that shows the history of western fashion through the centuries up to the present time. Examples from past eras before the invention of photography have been reproduced from paintings, such as in this example below: 1450-1624 Practical Clothing, with images from the paintings of Bosch, Holbein, and Breugel.

From the description:
"...this gorgeous collection of costume and dress shows how fashion reflects people and places, and captures the times in which they lived."--P. [4] of cover."

Are you tired of pecking at the keys or do you want to improve your data entry skills for a new job? Here are some free resources to help you out.

Sometimes there is a newsworthy event in your neighborhood that doesn't make it on the local TV news or to the pages of the Oregonian.  Fortunately, there is a wide array of neighborhood and community newspapers that focus specifically on hyperlocal news! 

You might see these newspapers on free newsstands around town.  Some are available to pick up for free in your neighborhood library and local businesses.  And many community newspapers have websites where fresh news is regularly posted.  Here are a few examples:

If you ever want to read back issues (great when you're researching local history!), you can find archives of each of these at Central Library, in the Periodicals Room on the second floor. 

Are there other community or neighborhood newspaper websites you like to use?  Share them in the comments! 

Questions? Ask the Librarian!  We welcome questions on any topic under the sun. 

Color Scheme Bible: Inpirational Palettes for Designing Home InteriorsThe Color Scheme Bible, essentially a book of color swatches, goes through the entire spectrum of colors in terms of painting choices for interiors, matched with contrasting and related colors to use as part of the complete color scheme for a room.  The intensity and saturation of the main colors varies from page to page, with the accent colors at times fading into the primary selection, or used as a bold contrast. The pages show the effects of mutability of color based on the background color, adjacent colors, and other effects.

It's likely that these samples of colors for interiors may be quite different from what appeared in books about room colors in other decades, and it would be interesting to make comparisons. It's fascinating, nonetheless, to page through the book and look at the effects of adjacent placement of colors and imagine how these combinations might be used for other types of projects in addition to interiors.

The color scheme bible : inspirational palettes for designing home interiors
Starmer, Anna.
Buffalo, New York : Firefly Books, 2012, c2005.
747.94 S795c 2012


Related book: One of the most significant books on the effects of color is Josef Albers' book The Interaction of Color, originally published with color silk screen paper samples, by Yale University Press in 1963.

From the preface to the 2006 edition:

"This new paperback edition presents a significantly expanded selection of more than thirty color studies alongside Albers's original unabridged text, demonstrating such principles as color relativity, intensity, and temperature; vibrating and vanishing boundaries; and the illusions of transparency and reversed grounds."

The color block sample below, from Albers' book, illustrates how colors change based on adjacency: the small center squares appear to be different colors, due to the very different backgrounds. Some of these same effects are described in the book The Color Scheme Bible, for the effects of variations of paint colors based on adjacency from room to room.

Joseph Albers The Interaction of Color

Interaction of Color / Josef Albers ; [foreword by Nicholas Fox Weber].
New Haven [Conn.] : Yale University Press, c2006. Rev. and expanded ed.
Central  Library    752 A33i 2006

Need to verify a fact? Find a statistic? Locate the source for a quote? The Web has lots of information in it, but it can be tricky to figure out which information to trust. In this blog post I provide links to websites that are great sources of reliable, authoritative information that you can use when you're doing quick research.

www.infoplease.com

Infoplease is short for “Information Please” - which traces its history back to the radio quiz show of the same name which ran on NBC from 1938 to 1952. The creators of the show later began publishing an almanac, and the website has been online since 1998. It features an almanac, an online version of the Columbia Encyclopedia (6th edition), a dictionary and thesaurus, and more.

www.bartleby.com

Bartleby is a website that provides access to books (mostly older books and classics) on the Web, free of charge. They have an excellent selection of books of quotations, which make it a great site for trying to find a classic quote. Note: most of their sources are from the late 1800s and early 1900s - so if you need a more recent quote, you’ll have to try a different resource, like quotes.dictionary.com (or, of course, you could ask a librarian for help). Notable books available on Bartleby include: Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, the King Jame’s Bible, Oxford Shakespeare, Gray’s Anatomy, and Strunk’s Elements of Style.

quotes.dictionary.com

This website from Dictionary.com provides many quotes, including 20th century ones, from the Columbia World of Quotations (1996).

www.merriam-webster.com

Merriam-Webster Online is a great, authoritative online dictionary, based on the 11th edition of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.

quickfacts.census.gov

State & County QuickFacts by the United States Census Bureau contains all sorts of easy-to-access facts about people, business, and geography in the United States. The main census site, www.census.gov, contains even more information and - although kind of tricky to use - is also a very valuable tool for statistical research.

www.oregonencyclopedia.org

The Oregon Encyclopedia is a constantly growing encyclopedia of essays on all things related to Oregon. The entries are written by knowledgeable authors and are authorized by editors and fact-checkers before being published. You can even suggest a topic or write your own article!

www.wikipedia.org

In a previous blog post (“I can’t use Wikipedia for my research paper! Or can I...”), I talked about how Wikipedia, though it is not always 100% reliable itself, can be used  to find sources that you can cite when you’re doing research. When you find an article on a topic of interest, look at the “References” section at the end of the article and follow the links there to see where the article is getting its information.

These are just some of many fantastical information sources online. Do you have one that you like that I didn’t mention? Then add a comment! Also, if you are ever stuck in your search for a fact, quote, or any bit of information, remember that you can always ask a librarian for help.

Happy researching!

Quote from the book and description:
Book Cover: A Visit with Magritte "If I indulge myself and surrender to memory, I can still feel the knot of excitement that gripped me as I turned the corner into Rue Mimosas, looking for the house of Rene Magritte. It was August, 1965. I was thirty three years old and about to meet the man whose profound and witty surrealist paintings had contradicted my assumptions about photography."

This book records Michals' visit with the great Belgian painter of inverse worlds and bizarre hybrid forms. Michals invites the viewer to follow him on the exciting journey to the private sphere of an artist who at the time inspired and intimidated him.

The still lifes taken in Margritte's house and the portraits of the inhabitants, Margritte and his wife, are distant and intimate, private and representative, humorous and calm at the same time. They reflect the high respect the man behind the camera felt for the subjects of his pictures.

A visit with Magritte / Duane Michals.
Göttingen : Steidl, 2011.
Central      779.092 M621v 2011

 

The rain is back and it's another eight months until summer's return... (perhaps I exaggerate). All joking aside, winter is long, dark and damp so I've got some fun and light-weight fantasy to suggest.

I was pleasantly surprised by Shadow Kin: A Novel of the Half-Light City by M.J. Scott.  If one were to judge a book by its cover, this seems like a forgettable paranormal romance where the feisty, independent female lead will find love with a sensitive and likable hero - or a tameable bad boy. I picked it up anyway and found myself falling for the characters and the setting, where four species share a city and an uneasy peace.  I liked the second book, Blood Kin, even better and am hoping for a third.

Faith Hunter's Skinwalker is the first in a series about a female vampire killer/mercenary with a mysterious past. Jane Yellowrock is a skinwalker of Cherokee descent who can shift into any animal of which she has a claw, tooth or some other small piece. Then she is hired as a vampire hunter, by one of the oldest vampires in New Orleans. While tougher-than-tough female leads are a staple of urban fantasy, I found Jane more believable and fleshed out than most.

I just finished Angel's Ink by Jocelynn Drake. Gage is a tattoo artist and fairly decent guy doing a truly terrible job of hiding out from the evil witches and warlocks of the Ivory Towers that rule his world. He owns his own shop and works with a troll and an elf. The amount of trouble he gets into in one short book is a little over the top, but it was a fun page-turner with a hero so likeable that I was glad that the ending promises a sequel or three.

How to search the new Library Catalog for music:
Top | Authors | Authors with Common NamesTitles | Keywords


Search for words in titles, subjects, or descriptions:

Example: jazz piano chord*
Type an * after any words to include variations: chord* = titles with the word chord or chords
search for keywords or subjects
Link to the search result for jazz piano chord*.

Select a title you would like from the search results.

Example: Jazz chord Hanon
Score title Jazz Chord Hanon Subject headings for Jazz Chord Hanon

 

- Link to similar books from the list of Subject Headings.
 


Ask a Question:
Looking for something specific? Contact us.

How to search the new Library Catalog for music:
Top | Authors | Authors with Common NamesTitles | Keywords


Select a title search. Type the exact title.

Example: the sound of music

Too many results?

Limit the list of results by selecting a format. Expand Music in the Format list, for example, and check the box Music CD for a list of CDs only.
Sountd of Music title search results

 


Ask a Question:
Looking for something specific? Contact us.

How to search the new Library Catalog for music:
Top | Authors | Authors with Common NamesTitles | Keywords


Author search:

Authors with common names may result in too many search results that are unrelated to what you are looking for. Add titles to your search for more focused results.

Example: Robert Johnson, American blues musician and composer

Use the advanced search for authors with commonly used names, to add keywords, specific titles, or a format, such as CD:
search the catalog for Robert Johnson, blues musician
Select "Add Another" for a search box to add words or a title.

Type keywords or a title in the search box just added.
search for Robert Johnson, blues musician by adding keywords to limit to the correct author

Sample result:
search result for Robert Johnson and blues

Choose a format:
choose a format - music CDs or printed music

Variations: author searches:

  • Common Names (Robert Johnson, for example)
  • Two Authors (A composer and a conductor)
  • Prolific Authors (Johann Sebastian Bach) for example: Search by a title of a song or musical work combined with an author (Bach plus Pastorale)

Ask a Question:
Looking for something specific? Contact us.

How to search the new Library Catalog for music:
Top | Authors | Authors with Common NamesTitles | Keywords


Authors with common names:
Authors = composers, conductors, names of music groups, songwriters, book authors or editors. Performers may be searched as authors if they are soloists. For performers in chamber music ensembles, other than soloists, search by the name of the ensemble.

Example: Find music by Johnny Cash.
Select an author search and enter the author's name: Cash, Johnny OR Johnny Cash. The result shows everything in the Library catalog: CDs, DVDs, books, music scores.
Search the catalog for Johnny Cash

Not specific enough? Add titles to the author's name in the advanced search for more focused search results.


Ask a Question:
Looking for something specific? Contact us.

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